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Southold Town Code Does Not Allow Dogs in Any Recreational Area

Town Board is looking to rewrite a restrictive 1981 code to reflect modern times.

Last month, Mattituck resident Dan Catullo told the Board that he was attacked by two dogs running loose on in Mattituck and wants the board to create a town-wide rule that all dogs must be kept on leashes at beaches.

But technically, a law already exists that bans all dogs from all recreational areas in town, including beaches, according to Southold Town Supervisor Scott Russell.

“Under chapter 193, which was written in 1981, dogs are not even allowed on beaches,” he said during Tuesday’s work session at Town Hall. “But I think this is too restrictive and we need to balance this out to accommodate all sides.”

Members of the town board were not sure whether Southold Town preserves were all pet friendly or not — “management plans might be different for each,” said Councilman Al Krupski. Russell said that the code needed a reworking to define exactly what are public recreational areas in town and how the law should address the strictness of keeping dogs on leashes in public.

“As the code is written now, it’s not something we would enforce,” Russell said.

As a dog owner who often uses Bailie to run his retriever — with or without a leash depending on the situation, he said — Mattituck resident Garret Meade said that he was concerned about the prospect of the town writing and enforcing a leash law for dog owners on the beach.

“I don’t see anything broken here — lots of people walk their dogs responsibly,” he said. “If I see kids on the beach I leash my dog until I’m past them.”

Russell reiterated that the current law as written is very restrictive if the town were to enforce it, and that it needs to be rewritten to reflect the current time and place of dogs and dog owners roaming Southold Town.

What do you think the Southold Town Board should do? Let us know in the comment boxes below.

Manhattan Mike August 01, 2012 at 02:02 PM
Jennifer, Don't make it sound like a rant. Come to the beach at the end of Indian Neck Lane and step in a random poop for yourself. Plenty for everyone.
GLENN August 01, 2012 at 02:27 PM
Jennifer, you know how it goes, one thing happens and they make all sorts of laws for our own good!
joe insider August 01, 2012 at 04:48 PM
Actually you need to re-read the article. It say that the board wants to EASE the current restrictions that were passed 31 years ago. How can you possibly infer that freedom is taken away from that?
Miriam August 16, 2012 at 12:08 PM
I walk my dog on the leash on public roads all the time. I cannot tell you how many times we have been challenged by dogs off the leash who come running at us and after us. I have been injured several times just trying to keep my dog and other dogs from harm. We have even been followed onto our own property when we fled to the safety of home! People need to leash their dogs in public spaces for everyone's well being, including theirs and their own dogs!
Dog Days of Summer September 07, 2012 at 03:55 AM
Summer 2012 saw an increase in 'dogs on beach after 5PM' .. an infraction on the code as it stands.. but no one seems to enforce it so it continues. I like dogs and all sorts of other pets.. but I can tell you now.. i do NOT like the unsanitary conditions dogs create on the beach. It's not just a 'random poop'... its all the 'random poops' left behind and quite frankly.. i don't want to put my blanket anywhere near where the 'random poop' ever was, I don't want the 'random pooper' to come over to where i'm sitting and sniff around, and i don't necessarily want to swim in the water a foot away from Fido. The same applies for Fido's 'occasional pee'! Let's face it .. if I emptied out the dirty diaper of my child and left it for anyone to 'deal with' you would all be appalled. There are tons of alternative ways to cool down a pet and I'm hoping the town creates an alternative that doesn't impact my right to peacefully enjoy a public beach.

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